Digital technologies are providing water authorities with innovative, sustainable answers to long-term challenges like water leaks, which drive up customer bills and complaints. By monitoring water consumption, technologies such as smart meters can help utilities proactively communicate with their end-users through real-time data. As a result, utilities can bring transparency and improved control to their water supply chain, decrease costs and provide reliable water usage intel to their communities.
With extreme weather events, population growth and various other factors affecting water availability, consumption and repairs, utilities are grappling with new ways to ensure that their services remain efficient, cost-effective and sustainable.
Water management systems connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) have the inherent advantage of data analysis. By implementing smart meters into end-users’ homes, utilities can monitor water consumption and predict future challenges and solutions.
As utilities continue to prioritise customer and community needs, data has become an essential part of water management operations. Smart meters are being rolled out in increasing numbers around Australian communities, providing utilities with real-time insights into network usage.
This allows them to not only identify faults and rapidly repair leaks, but provide accurate water bills, reduce local environmental impacts, and ensure that customers are saving on water and energy services.
Leading water and wastewater management solutions company, SUEZ, has released its strategic plan for 2027. Part of the plan is focused on increasing efficiency, accuracy, savings and communication between utilities and end-users through IoT solutions and digital water management systems.
The new era is here
Coined as the ‘Internet of Water’, smart water solutions are gaining traction in the industry and are transforming the way utilities manage and deliver water services to their communities. They can leverage these technologies to deliver a completely customised service for their end-users.
SUEZ’s Head of Smart Metering, Sean Cohen, says that the Internet of Water is a game-changer for how water authorities interact with their communities.
“IoT technology, like these smart water meters, provides an accurate, timely, reliable image of your water networks. It’s robust – you won’t have to wait three months for someone with a clipboard to detect a leak as it’ll happen instantaneously,” Mr Cohen said.
Getting real with data
With smart meters and IoT devices, utilities can monitor water usage in real-time. This helps them pinpoint leaks, pipe bursts and other issues quickly. They can leverage this information to proactively alert their communities about potential problems, saving them time and money on repairs.
“Digital technologies and IoT offer utilities an unprecedented opportunity to improve water management,” Mr Cohen said.
“By leveraging the power of real-time data analytics and machine learning, utilities can optimise their operations and reduce water waste, ultimately saving resources and improving the overall sustainability of their operations.”
No more surprise water bills
If you’ve ever received an exorbitant water bill, you’re not alone. For years, water authorities have been trying to better communicate and educate their end-users about saving on their water usage, and smart solutions are tackling this head-on.
Utilities can use smart meters and IoT devices to send customised alerts to end-users about their water usage. For example, if a resident has a leak in their pipe, they can receive an alert directly from their provider telling them where the leak is and how to fix it. This helps residents act quickly, conserve water and save money on their bills.
“Right now, water is disappearing in transit and it’s not being measured or captured,” Mr Cohen said.
“With our digital water technologies, end-users can now be billed based on their actual water usage rather than a fixed rate. We’re making sure people aren’t paying for something that just gets poured down the drain.”
Creating circular solutions
As the world faces an ever-growing water crisis, the need for innovative water management solutions has become more critical than ever. The Internet of Water offers utilities a powerful toolset to tackle this challenge, and their adoption is a critical step towards a more sustainable future.
Globally, there are six million smart meters currently on order to be installed by SUEZ, and another 11 million under contract. Sometimes these meters are almost 20 years old, and still provide customers with the same safety, health and financial stability as when they were initially installed.
For SUEZ, digital water solutions are essential in creating a circular economy – they optimise water usage, reduce water waste, and increase resource efficiency.
By leveraging the Internet of Water, this will bring utilities one step closer to conserving water resources, reducing environmental impact, and creating more sustainable water management systems.
This is a sponsored editorial brought to you by Suez. For more information, please visit www.suez.com/en/australia-new-zealand